Tag Archives: healthy

Hummus Potatoes

Poor hummus has become so popular that everyone has bastardized it to the point where you can barely recognize it!  Carrot hummus made with no chickpeas (delicious by the way), garlic-less hummus (NOT delicious), beets swirled into hummus (so pretty) and on and on.  Well if everyone else can do it why not me?  I love the classic flavors in hummus – garlic, tahini (sesame paste) and lemon – and thought it would make a great sauce.  So I roasted up some baby potatoes and tossed them with this lightened up hummus-like sauce.  SO good, like scoop up the rest of that sauce with whatever you have handy, good.  This is the perfect side for a roasted chicken as you can roast the potatoes right along side it.  Or pair it with some lamb burgers for a healthier version of fries.  Hummus purists be damned…

Hummus Potatoes  (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  hummus
Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 1/2 pounds baby yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced or grated
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup water
  • chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Cut the baby yukon golds in half (unless they are really small, you can leave those whole) and toss with the olive oil and some salt and pepper on a cookie sheet.

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Cover the cookie sheet tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.  Carefully remove the foil, toss the potatoes with a spatula and return to the oven, uncovered for another 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are golden and tender inside.

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While the potatoes are cooking combine the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper.  Whisk in water a little bit at a time until you get a saucy consistency.  Put the potatoes in a serving dish and drizzle on the sauce.  Serve any extra on the side for dipping and sprinkle the dish with parsley.

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Hummus Potatoes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 1/2 pounds baby yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced or grated
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup water
  • chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Cut the baby yukon golds in half (unless they are really small, you can leave those whole) and toss with the olive oil and some salt and pepper on a cookie sheet.  Cover the cookie sheet tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.  Carefully remove the foil, toss the potatoes with a spatula and return to the oven, uncovered for another 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are golden and tender inside.  While the potatoes are cooking combine the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper.  Whisk in water a little bit at a time until you get a saucy consistency.  Put the potatoes in a serving dish and drizzle on the sauce.  Serve any extra on the side for dipping and sprinkle the dish with parsley.

Jalapeno Chips

Years ago I made my first visit to Texas to celebrate the wedding of two dear friends.  The wedding was held in rural Texas where the bride was from – a totally different kind of place than I have ever known.  A real “one horse town,” Cleburne, TX didn’t have a ton of dining options but one dish stands out, now almost 5 years since that trip.  Deep fried jalapeno chips – we ordered them with lunch, we went back and ordered more for a snack before the ceremony, and then we got them late night after the reception.  Super spicy and served with a ranch type dressing I could seriously have eaten these all day long.  When we got back from the wedding I set out to make these part of our lives.

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Cause you should definitely drink habanero beer alongside jalapeno chips!

Now if these were going to become part of our regular diet, then deep frying and dipping it into a fatty sauce wasnt going to do.  So I baked them and used my standard go to yogurt sauce (also seen here and here).  These are pretty spicy, even with the seeds taken out.  I find its best if you get the biggest jalapenos you can find as its easier to get most of the membrane and seeds out.  Look at these big boys!

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I serve these all the time as a healthy side with tacos or as an appetizer – they would be perfect for watching football this weekend and are totally guiltless.

Jalapeno Chips (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  A Texas Trip
Special Equipment:  plastic gloves (optional)

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • cooking spray
  • 8-10 large jalapenos
  • 6 ounces non fat Greek plain yogurt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (I like chives, parsley, thyme, mint – anything works)
  • 1 garlic glove, minced or grated
  • salt and pepper

Put one cup of the buttermilk and the breadcrumbs in two separate bowls.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.  If you have plastic gloves don those now!  With a knife cut off both ends of the jalapenos and discard.  Then cut each pepper into 1/2 inch thick rings, I like to do it on a bit of a diagonal.

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Put the jalapeno rings into the buttermilk.  (I keep the gloves on for this part to keep my hands clean)

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Shake off the excess buttermilk and coat each ring in the breadcrumbs.  Once they are coated place on the cookie sheet.  Once they are all coated you can pop them in the fridge for up to 24 hours before baking them off or if you are ready to go, place them in the oven.  DSC03983

Bake for 8 minutes, then shake the cookie sheet or flip the chips over and bake for another 8 minutes.  While the chips are baking combine the yogurt, herbs, garlic and salt and pepper in a bowl.  Add the rest of the buttermilk until it is a good dipping consistency (the dip can be made days in advance and is great with pretty much anything).  When the chips are done sprinkle them with salt and serve with the yogurt sauce.

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Jalapeno Chips

  • Servings: 4-6
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Special Equipment:  plastic gloves (optional)

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • cooking spray
  • 8-10 large jalapenos
  • 6 ounces non fat Greek plain yogurt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (I like chives, parsley, thyme, mint – anything works)
  • 1 garlic glove, minced or grated
  • salt and pepper

Put one cup of the buttermilk and the breadcrumbs in two separate bowls.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.  If you have plastic gloves don those now!  With a knife cut off both ends of the jalapenos and discard.  Then cut each pepper into 1/2 inch thick rings, I like to do it on a bit of a diagonal.  Once you have all the rings use your fingers to pop out the seeds and membranes in the middle.  Put the jalapeno rings into the buttermilk.  (I keep the gloves on for this part to keep my hands clean)  Shake off the excess buttermilk and coat each ring in the breadcrumbs.  Once they are coated place on the cookie sheet.

Once they are all coated you can pop them in the fridge for up to 24 hours before baking them off or if you are ready to go, place them in the oven.  Bake for 8 minutes, then shake the cookie sheet or flip the chips over and bake for another 8 minutes.  While the chips are baking combine the yogurt, herbs, garlic and salt and pepper in a bowl.  Add the rest of the buttermilk until it is a good dipping consistency (the dip can be made days in advance and is great with pretty much anything).  When the chips are done sprinkle them with salt and serve with the yogurt sauce.

Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Patrick recently went to Korea and it got me thinking about how I know practically nothing about Korean food.  Enter hot Korean chili paste – this amazing condiment is becoming more and more popular because of its deep spicy flavor.  A little goes a long way and of course they have to sell them in pretty big tubs so I am sure to post more recipes soon!  It’s called gochujang paste and there are a million uses for it.

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One I am pretty excited about is mixing it in with beef for spicy Korean hamburgers.  The great thing about pastes like this is that they have so much flavor you don’t have to mess around with that many additional ingredients.  I decided to combine it with ground chicken and made lettuce rolls for a super-fast, healthy weeknight meal.  Add some rice on the side and you have a complete dinner in less than 30 minutes.  Does anyone have a great recipe for this paste??

Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  that gochujang paste sitting in my pantry
Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 head Boston or bibb lettuce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons gochujang paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1-2 fresh chilis, sliced (I used fresnos)
  • 1 teaspoon seseame seeds

Separate the leaves of the lettuce so they can be used as the wraps, set aside.  In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium high heat.  Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes or so until softening.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute, being careful not to let the garlic burn.  Add the chicken and additional oil if necessary.  Use your cooking utensil to break up the chicken and cook until fully cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the gochujang paste, soy sauce and vinegar and stir to combine.  Lower the heat to medium low and cook for about a minute more, the liquid should mostly be incorporated but you don’t want to dry it out.  Sprinkle the chicken with the sesame seens and serve immediately with the lettuce, scallions and chili.

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Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • Servings: 3-4
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Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 head Boston or bibb lettuce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons gochujang paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1-2 fresh chilis, sliced (I used fresnos)
  • 1 teaspoon seseame seeds

Separate the leaves of the lettuce so they can be used as the wraps, set aside.  In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium high heat.  Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes or so until softening.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute, being careful not to let the garlic burn.  Add the chicken and additional oil if necessary.  Use your cooking utensil to break up the chicken and cook until fully cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the gochujang paste, soy sauce and vinegar and stir to combine.  Lower the heat to medium low and cook for about a minute more, the liquid should mostly be incorporated but you don’t want to dry it out.  Sprinkle the chicken with the sesame seens and serve immediately with the lettuce, scallions and chili.

Roasted Carrots with Vadouvan Yogurt Sauce

Oh how I miss the summer days, strolling through the farmers market and taking advantage of the bounty of produce.  We have reached the doldrums of winter vegetables and it really forces you to get creative so it’s not the same roasted brussel sprouts or kale chips every night.  I have been seeing more and more carrot dishes on menus these days – the vibrant color can really help perk up a meal, they are wicked cheap and they last forever in the fridge.  This summer I posted this awesome carrot ribbon salad but for a winter dish you are going to want something warm and more hearty.  These roasted carrots are just the ticket – roasting the carrots pulls out their natural sweetness and also gives them a nice char.  I have done several different “sauces” with these carrots but this yogurt vadouvan is definitely my favorite.  If you have never had vadouvan is a kind of curry blend that to me is less spicy and more aromatic than the regular curry you are used to.  It’s really best paired with sweet veggies like these carrots or in the summer in a nice corn soup.  If you are in DC you can find it at Bazaar Spices in Union Market – nationally I have seen it at World Market or of course your local Indian grocer.  It’s becoming somewhat trendy lately, so it should be more accessible but if you don’t feel like tracking it down you can use regular curry.  Mixed with the fresh lemon zest and bite of garlic, fat free greek yogurt becomes super flavorful.  I like to serve these carrots with roasted pork tenderloin and then use the sauce for both the carrots and the pork.  I will be posting the perfect pairing, a pistachio crusted pork, on Friday.  So check your crisper drawer, I am sure there are some less then perfect carrots hanging around in there.  Roasting will hide any limpness or bruises and I will never tell.

Roasted Carrots with Vadouvan Yogurt Sauce (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:   working through my spice collection
Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled, and cut in half on a diagonal
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 container (mine was 5.3 ounces) of nonfat greek plain yogurt
  • 3/4 teaspoon vadouvan (if you can’t find or don’t want to use this you can use 1/2 teaspoon curry powder or experiment with other spices)
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the carrots with the olive oil and salt and pepper and spread out on a baking sheet.

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Roast for 7 minutes and then toss the carrots, then roast for 7 minutes more.  While the carrots are roasting combine the yogurt, vadouvan, garlic, lemon zest and salt and pepper in a small bowl (this can be done days in advance).

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When the carrots are done spread the yogurt sauce on the serving plate and top with carrots.

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Roasted Carrots with Vadouvan Yogurt Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled, and cut in half on a diagonal
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 container (mine was 5.3 ounces) of nonfat greek plain yogurt
  • 3/4 teaspoon vadouvan (if you can’t find or don’t want to use this you can use 1/2 teaspoon curry powder or experiment with other spices)
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the carrots with the olive oil and salt and pepper and spread out on a baking sheet.  Roast for 7 minutes and then toss the carrots, then roast for 7 minutes more.  While the carrots are roasting combine the yogurt, vadouvan, garlic, lemon zest and salt and pepper in a small bowl (this can be done days in advance).  When the carrots are done spread the yogurt sauce on the serving plate and top with carrots.

Napa Cabbage with Asian Honey Mustard Sauce

I am always looking for ways to use up food, and avoid waste.  One thing that has always bugged me was the giant bag of sauces and condiments that our local Chinese place always threw into delivery orders.  Soy sauce for an army, crunchy wontons for the soup, duck sauce and mustard packets galore.  I would save the packets thinking I would use them but then when I needed soy sauce I would just use the mega bottle I already had in my pantry and the packets would annoyingly fall out of the fridge door once too many had accumulated.  Necessity is the mother of invention – the vibrant yellow hot mustard seemed like the natural choice to try to get more usage out of these packets and that is how this delicious and healthy side was born.  By mixing the very piquant mustard with garlic and honey you smooth out the flavor but still get that nose tingling bite.  I love napa cabbage, which is much softer and less bitter than regular green cabbage.  Roasting it caramelizes the leaves and gives you a little bit of crispness.  This is also delicious served cold the next day, with the cabbage chopped up and mixed with the sauce or it would make a nice vegetarian dish served over brown rice.  So next time you decide to call for Chinese takeout make sure to save a couple of those dreaded packets and give this dish a whirl.

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Napa Cabbage with Asian Honey Mustard Sauce (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  Chinese take out packets
Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 large or 2 small heads of napa cabbage
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons Chinese hot mustard

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.  Cut the napa cabbage in half lengthwise.  Drizzle both sides with olive oil and place cut side down on a cookie sheet.  Roast for 7 minutes – while the napa cabbage is roasting in a small bowl combine the garlic, honey and Chinese hot mustard.  Use tongs (carefully!) to flip the cabbage and roast for 7 minutes more.  Transfer the cabbage to a plate and drizzle the sauce over.

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Napa Cabbage with Asian Honey Mustard Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 large or 2 small heads of napa cabbage
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons Chinese hot mustard

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.  Cut the napa cabbage in half lengthwise.  Drizzle both sides with olive oil and place cut side down on a cookie sheet.  Roast for 7 minutes – while the napa cabbage is roasting in a small bowl combine the garlic, honey and Chinese hot mustard.  Use tongs (carefully!) to flip the cabbage and roast for 7 minutes more.  Transfer the cabbage to a plate and drizzle the sauce over.

Spinach and Chickpea Sautee

For the last week I have been eating vegan for breakfast and lunch – cue the gasps and screams!  It’s part of a get healthy kick brought on by an impending birthday.  Made popular by Mark Bittman of the New York Times this kind of eating called “VB6” essentially means cutting out meat and dairy until around 6pm or dinnertime.  I am only a week in but I know I definitely feel better about the choices I am making and I haven’t felt too deprived.  Never in a million years would I give up cheese 100% but something about not having it most of the day means that when you do have it you feel like it’s a treat rather than something you should be eating all the time.  One thing that has been tough is thinking of lunches that really satisfy and help carry me through the day.  Then I remembered this great side dish that I make – it can still be used as a side to tandoori chicken or grilled shrimp but it would also be just as good as lunch, maybe over some brown rice if you need more heft.  There is plenty of protein from the chickpeas and the spinach gives you a nice dose of iron.  I am not sure how long I am going to stick with this VB6 thing but dishes like this certainly make it easier to stay on track.

Spinach and Chickpea Side (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  fridge and pantry clean out!

Special Equipment: none

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 gloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (or garam masala if you have it)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 5 ounces baby spinach

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and sweat out for 2 minutes, watching the garlic so it doesn’t burn.  Add the spices and then the tomatoes (you can use canned tomatoes if that’s all you have just use a can of chopped tomatoes and drain off the liquid) and cook down until they have released their liquid and are starting to brown, about 4 minutes.

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Stir in the chickpeas and then add the spinach in handfuls.  If you cannot fit it all in at once wait until some wilts down and then add more.  Cook for 4 minutes more until all the spinach has wilted and combined with the other ingredients.

Spinach and Chickpea Side

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment: none

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 gloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (or garam masala if you have it)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 5 ounces baby spinach

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and sweat out for 2 minutes, watching the garlic so it doesn’t burn.  Add the spices and then the tomatoes (you can use canned tomatoes if that’s all you have just use a can of chopped tomatoes and drain off the liquid) and cook down until they have released their liquid and are starting to brown, about 4 minutes.  Stir in the chickpeas and then add the spinach in handfuls.  If you cannot fit it all in at once wait until some wilts down and then add more.  Cook for 4 minutes more until all the spinach has wilted and combined with the other ingredients.

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